By Tim Grierson
KISS have been the godfathers of good-time rock for 35 years. Having unleashed their best album in years, they're still not ready to hang up their platform boots. Paul Stanley explains how they're showing the pretenders how it's done.
Paul Stanley is a man in perpetual motion. At 57, he and his bandmates in KISS are days away from the next leg of the group's seemingly never-ending Alive 35 tour, and he's so consumed with last-minute details that he had to postpone our initial interview in Los Angeles to focus on rehearsals before catching a flight to Detroit, where the band will kick off the tour. Later, relaxing in the band's Motor City hotel, KISS's venerable guitarist and vocalist takes a moment to reflect on the group's recent record-breaking concert tallies.
"In the last year," he says, "we played to about a million people. Our tour of Europe was our biggest and most successful ever. We did 30 shows in about three months and played probably to about three-quarters of a million people. And then after that, we did the stadiums of South America, playing to somewhere between 30,000 and 80,000 people a night. And then we went on to Canada and did 15,000 to 90,000 people a night. It's been a terrific year for us."
Their terrific year will end with another milestone -- the release of Sonic Boom, the band's first studio effort since 1998's Psycho Circus, an album that neither their fans nor KISS themselves recall all that fondly.